Jefferies' novel can be seen as an early example of "post-apocalyptic fiction." After some sudden and unspecified catastrophe has depopulated England, the countryside reverts to nature, and the few survivors to a quasi-medieval way of life.
The first part of the book, "The Relapse into Barbarism", is the account by some later historian of the fall of civilisation and its consequences, with a loving description of nature reclaiming England. The second part, "Wild England", is an adventure set many years later in the wild landscape and society.
The book is not without its flaws (notably the abrupt and unsatisfying ending) but is redeemed by the quality of the writing, particularly the unnervingly prophetic descriptions of the post-apocalyptic city and countryside. (Summary by Ruth Golding and Wikipedia)
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August 29, 2015 Subject:
After London, or Wild England..excellent
Possibly one of the most memorable books I've listened to. Listened to it several times now, each time it has captivated my mind and imagination. Big thumbs up to the narrator too, she does and excellent job of making my minds eye travel into the scenes she describes.
August 17, 2010 Subject:
finished too soon!
Beautifully read. It seemed to me that the story took ages to get exciting and the moment it did, it finished.
March 22, 2010 Subject:
Excellent - if somewhat static
Jeffries' chief strengths as a author were as descriptive writer, and it is no surprise therefore that the most sustained passages in After London are those in the opening part, detailing nature resurgent on the back of some unspecified national catastophe. Elsewhere when the main plot kicks in, some scenes, though well written, lack the necessary forward impetus. The author's strengths again rise to the fore in the two or three great chapters depicting the hero's journey into the black swamp. Some great passages here, depicting an eerie, hellish land both symbolic and real, made more so by the power of the prose, worth the price of admission alone. The ending is too abrupt to be fully satisfying but none the less overall it's a journey worth taking. The reading is excellent, with clear and responsive diction, the steady manner entirely in keeping with the stately prose.
September 5, 2009 Subject:
As beautiful as it can get!
This book is divided into two parts the first of which describes the ecological response to the human abandonment of Britain in the late 19th century. The second is a picturesque travel through the post-apocalyptic landscape. It was written in the 19th-century by Richard Jefferies (1848-1887), an English writer and naturalist.
Many thanks to Ruth Golding for her wonderful reading of this novel. In another part of the English-speaking world, they would say: “She’s a hell of a reader”!